The public’s perception of missing persons cases through exposure to crime television, is not accurate—-the vast majority of disappearance calls that law enforcement responds to are not criminally related. The persons thought to missing, turn-up later just fine.
Fortunately, when I was a patrol officer, I took lots of missing person reports; many involved incidents where the person’s loved one was sure something bad had happened only to find out later that he/she had voluntarily left for some reason.
In contrast, the missing adult and children cases that I have highlighted on this blog remain unsolved.
The following case has made me uncomfortable for years, and I list several reasons why after this summary:
On June 9, 1995 at 10:45pm Morgan Nick was getting ready to leave a Little League baseball game. The 6-year-old girl was at the game with her mom and had stayed a little bit later to catch some fireflies with friends.Why this case bothers me:
While walking to her mom's car, Morgan realized she had some sand in her shoe. Cops say her mom had already sat down in the driver's seat to turn on the air conditioning. When Morgan's mom turned around to check up on her daughter... Morgan was gone. She was never heard from again.
Officials say several witnesses saw a white male watching Morgan as she was playing in the park with her friends.
Officials say several witnesses saw a white male watching Morgan as she was playing in the park with her friends. Those who saw him say he was about 6 feet tall, with a medium build and had a mustache and one-inch beard.
At the time, witnesses say he was between 23 and 38 years old with curly, black or salt-and-pepper, slicked back hair.
Cops say, at the time of the crime, a witness saw a suspicious car parked nearby that disappeared around the same time as Morgan. The witness described the vehicle as a white camper, with rear damage on the passenger side, hooked up to a red Ford pick-up truck.
According to the witness, the pick-up looked odd with the camper, since the camper was around five inches too short for the truck. Cops say the truck had Arkansas plates.
Reason #1: Proximity—I spent most of my childhood not too far from Alma, AR. It is not a hotbed of criminal activity--much less child abductions.
Reason #2: Circumstances—When I read of the little girl being watched in the park while catching fireflies, I was reminded of how much freedom we had as children.
When my brother had a Little League baseball or football game, I would wander the expansive park area with friends until the game was over. I still remember the icy stare I got from Marine Dad one time when I was late returning and he had to go look for me as it was getting dark.
Reason #3: Suspect Description:--A suspect driving an old damaged pickup truck with an undersized camper shell, and an Arkansas plate is a fantastic lead for law enforcement to investigate; especially when a second attempted abduction was reported in the area a few days later. It makes you wonder what was wrong with the vehicle description…
As a result of the tragedy, the victim’s mother, Colleen Nick, started the Morgan Nick Foundation to provide a support network for the families of missing children and offer preventative education.
In closing, here is a letter posted on the Foundation’s site from Morgan Nick’s mother and father to their missing daughter:
Dear Morgan,The words are certainly heartbreaking, but also motivational in forcing us to recognize how more needs to be done to assist the families of missing children.
We want you to know how special you are! You are a blessing we cannot live without. We feel cheated every day that goes by and we do not see your smile, hear your bubbly laughter or listen to your thoughts and ideas.
We have never stopped believing that we’ll find you. We are saving our hugs and kisses for you. Always know that you are loved. Most of all, don’t ever give up.
We WILL find you. We promise!
Mom and Dad